Artworks help strengthen the dressing room
A rugby dressing room is a unique place, where players gather their thoughts, listen to tactical advice and prepare for the upcoming battle. Creating the right kind of environment can have an incredibly important role to play in strengthening a team’s identity, which is why the Rugby Football Union were keen to refurbish the England changing room at Twickenham. This activity is a significant part of the RFU’s wider stadium redevelopment programme currently underway to ensure that Twickenham Stadium’s facilities are world-leading for the Rugby World Cup 2015 and beyond. Together with award-winning architects KSS, Artworks Solutions have been working in partnership with the RFU and the England team management to revamp the look and feel of the home dressing room at Twickenham Stadium and help today's players draw inspiration from the long history of English rugby. The RFU was founded all the way back in 1871, and England Head Coach Stuart Lancaster is keen to embrace and celebrate that heritage to develop an even stronger collective spirit in the current squad.
The home dressing room now includes a wall of honour, featuring the names of all those players to have ever been capped for England, Artworks supplied entrance doors and birchwood ply panels for the new changing rooms, with ply printed direct to media.
Each England player in the match day 23 also has an individual cubicle with their name on the top of a plaque listing notable players in their position from the past. England hooker Dylan Hartley has said that these features can help strengthen the emotional connection with team-mates and create a real sense of togetherness.
This is of course crucial in a team sport like rugby, where players depend on each other to a degree maybe unmatched in any other game. Today's squad are walking in the footsteps of greats like Bill Beaumont, Will Carling, Martin Johnson and Jonny Wilkinson, and if they can draw strength from that heritage then English rugby can look forward to a bright future.